Northamptonshire County Council effectively became bankrupt in 2018, when they became the first council in 20 years to issue what is called a "Section 114 Notice".
Through austerity, the Conservative UK government had been cutting funding to local councils when this happened. Combined with poor financial management by the Conservative led County Council, they ran out of money.
This then led to cuts in public services - including libraries, children's services, waste management, highways, public transport and trading standards.
The Conservative government decided that local elections in Northamptonshire would not take place in May 2019. The Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said polls "would involve significant costs that would be hard to justify" and they have been cancelled. (Source
This denied residents a vote on who they wanted to represent them locally, and denied them a voice on local council leadership following the issues at the County Council.
The electorate has a simple contract with politicians: you elect them for a period of time, and once that time is up you get to have your say at the ballot box.
Kettering Labour's own Mick Scrimshaw said at the time that he was "frustrated and disappointed" by the notion of holding office without a mandate from the local electorate.
"It's right and proper that people should have a say. It makes me feel uncomfortable [to be effectively unelected]". (Source
Democracy has a cost, and that cost is running elections and funding the operation of councils and elected representatives. What is concerning is that the government deemed this cost too high to run elections in May 2019, but found it acceptable to fund the "ever increasing costs" of the local council changes, which stood at £44m in February 2019. (Source
)Finally, on 6th May 2021 YOU can have YOUR say on who you want to represent you moving forwards.
Kettering Labour will be announcing its candidates soon - please keep checking back to our website and social media accounts!